Ashley Wagner

Ashley Wagner challenges Russians at Skate Canada short program

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Ashley Wagner took second place in the Skate Canada short program despite under-rotating two of her jumps, putting her within striking distance of Russian leader Anna Pogorilaya going into the free skate Saturday.

Wagner, 23, was pleased with the performance (video here), her first of the Grand Prix season, after she finished in last place at the Japan Open earlier this month.

Wagner was seventh in the short program and overall at the Sochi Olympics in February and the World Championships in March, against deeper fields.

But Wagner did something Friday her Olympic teammate, Gracie Gold, was unable to at Skate America last week — beat a Russian. Wagner outscored 2012 World silver medalist Alena Leonova.

The short program leader Pogorilaya was fourth at the World Championships. Neither Pogorilaya nor Leonova made Russia’s Olympic team for Sochi.

NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will air Skate Canada coverage Sunday from 1-2:30 p.m. ET.

Skate Canada women’s short program
1. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) 65.28
2. Ashley Wagner (USA) 63.86
3. Alena Leonova (RUS) 62.54
8. Courtney Hicks (USA) 56.36

Surprise U.S. scores in Skate Canada men’s short program

David Rudisha escapes car crash ‘well and unhurt’

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David Rudisha, a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder at 800m, is “well and unhurt” after a car accident in his native Kenya, according to his Facebook account.

Kenyan media reported that one of Rudisha’s tires burst on Saturday night, leading his car to collide with a bus, and he was treated for minor injuries at a hospital.

Rudisha, 30, last raced July 4, 2017, missing extended time with a quad muscle strain and back problems. His manager said last week that Rudisha will miss next month’s world championships.

Rudisha owns the three fastest times in history, including the world record 1:40.91 set in an epic 2012 Olympic final.

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Tokyo Paralympic medals unveiled with historic Braille design, indentations

Tokyo Paralympic Medals
Tokyo 2020
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The Tokyo Paralympic medals, which like the Olympic medals are created in part with metals from recycled cell phones and other small electronics, were unveiled on Sunday, one year out from the Opening Ceremony.

In a first for the Paralympics, each medal has one to three indentation(s) on its side to distinguish its color by touch — one for gold, two silver and three for bronze. Braille letters also spell out “Tokyo 2020” on each medal’s face.

For Rio, different amounts of tiny steel balls were put inside the medals based on their color, so that when shaken they would make distinct sounds. Visually impaired athletes could shake the medals next to their ears to determine the color.

More on the design from Tokyo 2020:

The design is centered around the motif of a traditional Japanese fan, depicting the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds. The kaname, or pivot point, holds all parts of the fan together; here it represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. Motifs on the leaves of the fan depict the vitality of people’s hearts and symbolize Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. These are applied with a variety of techniques, producing a textured surface that makes the medals compelling to touch.

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Tokyo Paralympic Medals

Tokyo Paralympic Medals